ADVENT OF FORMAL EDUCATION IN ÈGBÒRÒLAND

Introduction

Having delved in some details into the history of Christian and Islamic religions, in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, founding of schools became a top priority in the programme of these voluntary agencies, as they came to be labelled later by the Government. In fact, Christianity, to a large extent, goes hand in gloves with education, as the new believers couldn’t but learn to read the Bible in their native tongue or in English. The C.M.S. was again foremost in this direction by starting some teaching of the “3Rs” (Reading-W(R)iting-ARithmetic) to the new believers.

There is oral evidence indicating that as early as 1911 one Mr Samuel Ajayi started something like a small ‘School’ in the old Church building at Odo-Ese. Mr Samuel Ajayi’s primary assignment was to work as a Church agent in St Matthew’s Church Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà; he spent the week days nursing his small ‘school’ and on Sundays, he would take care of his flock. He had among his pupils the late Catechist J.O. Fatiregun, Mr J. K. Ladimeji, and Rev D. B. Esan of the Methodist mission, Ilesa.

A year later (1912) Mr E. J. Oke, the trained Catechist in charge of St Matthew’s Church, took over from Mr Samuel Ajayi. Some of his pupils were the late Pa Emmanuel OlaleyeFanimokun, Pa J. K. Olowokure and Solomon Fagboore. At a later stage Samuel Ejoka, J. Adejoro, J. K. Ladeinde and S. A. Ayoade, among others joined the class.

1. St Matthew School Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà

Before we continue with the story it should be pointed out at this stage that the history of St. Matthew’s Primary School in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà represents the history of primary school education per se in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. For, apart from the African Church Primary School which started in 1917 as a result of the break of that Church from the CMS (already discussed in details), no other mission founded any School until 1948 when the Apostolic Primary School was founded. This being the case, no apology is offered for paying greater attention to the early part of the history of St Matthew’s School during the first 70 years of its existence that is, between 1911 and 1980.

By mid 1915 the School had moved to the new Church building at Igbomolefon, Odo-Oja. Mrs E. V. Oladimeji worked in the School as a pupil teacher in 1916, and in 1917 Miss Lydia OkotoreỌ̀rúnmúyì, later Mrs L. O. Olatunbosun worked as a pupil teacher.

Mr S. A. Banjo, who worked as headmaster in St Matthew’s School in 1922-1923 was one of those who laboured devotedly and loyally for very little and laid sound foundation. Another was Mr S. A. Afonja, who having worked from 1936 to 1942, had the longest and most meritorious service among the pioneers. He will be considered in details presently.

Pupils from St Matthew’s School and African Church School lined the road when Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà-llesa road was opened on 13th April 1927 and St. Matthew’s School, under the able headmastership of Mr E. A. Akinboade moved into the first School building on Monday 31st October 1927. The learning environment so boosted the morale of both the teachers and the pupils that the Inspector of Education remarked in December, 1927 as follows:

“this School has completely changed: when housed in the Church …. it was inefficient but since the present headmaster took up his duties at the end of February, there had been a steady improvement”.

Messrs. E. D. Adedoja and J.O. Lawanson joined the Staff in January 1930. Mr E.D. Adedoja thus started a period of twenty-one years of unbroken and meritorious service to St. Matthew’s School and Church, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. Among the eight pupils in the highest class (Stardard Four) in 1933 were O. Fatodu, P.O. Ọ̀rúnmúyì, Zach Ojumu, Bernice S. Wiliams (later Mrs Agunsoye) and Felicia Akingbehin (later Mrs.Lawanson).

The regime of Mr S. A. Afonja was a golden age of St. Matthew’s School. Enrolment increased, curriculum was widened with the introduction of woodwork and weaving. St Matthew’s Day was celebrated for the first time. Inter House Sports Competition started with the following School-houses: Senior Houses: Agunsoye, Arójòjoyè, Atobatele andOgbaruku. JuniorHouses includeOluyemi, Adebiyi andAjibola. These houses were retained as a regular basis for school activities for a long time.

There were eight pupils in Standard Five in 1937. Formal approval to have standards five and six was obtained in February 1938 but only two pupils wrote the standard five examinations at the end of 1937.

In 1939 Mr Afonja, a warranted Scout Master, with the permission of the Chief Scout Commissioner, started a Troop in the School known as 27thOyo Troop, Ìjẹ̀búJesa, Reg. No 6175. In 1940, Domestic Science with Needle Work was introduced. Miss. F. O. Ogunbiyi, a grade three trained teacher was in charge. Mr Afonja also established cordial relationship between St Mathew’s School and IJUC members in Lagos.

In 1940 Mr Afonja succeeded in getting permission from the Empire Day Committee to make Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà a centre for schools in Iwoye, Esa-Oke, Ere and Eesun. When he Mr Afonja, was transferred to St John’s School, IloroIlesa in 1943, he had the longest service as headmaster, characterised by loyal devotion, total commitment and unparalleled thoroughness.

A son of the soil with the longest unbroken service who served St Matthew’s School and Church meritoriously was Mr B. O. Orioke who taught in the School from 1929 to 1966. He also served as a good link between the School and the Church. He acted “in loco parentis”to many pupils. His advice helped many pupils to complete standard six while his loan sustained many in teacher training colleges.

The History of St Matthew’s School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà is incomplete without the history of St Matthew’s Church Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà and the Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Community in nurturing it. In addition to the meagre School fees paid by the pupils and a meagre ‘sustentation grant’ of ₤40 per annum from the Government, the Church provided money to build and maintain schools and pay teachers’ salaries.

Following the take-over of schools by the government after the Nigerian Civil War, St. Mathew’s Primary School fully came under government control. St. Mathew’s Primary Schools “C” and “B” at Òkènísà and around the church premises were all merged with School “A” at OdoOja. Though School “A” was serving as th senior as the senior school (Primary 4-6) while the schools “B” and “C” were Junior Schools (Primary 1-3).

The subsequent governments of the Western State, Oyo State and Osun State administered the school and took full responsibility for the development of physical infrastructure and the payment of salaries. The Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the recent Universal Basic Education (UBE) programmes of the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with the State Governments have changed the face of Primary Education in the country and this had positive impact on St. Mathew’s Primary School.

The newly-introduced Policy of the Government of the State of Osun has merged Jehoval-Jireh African Church Primary School with St. Mathew’s Anglican Primary School. The current Headmaster is Mr. Obi.

2: Jihovah-Jireh African Church Primary School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà

Jehovah-Jireh African Church Primary School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà was founded on July 12th, 1917 by the Church members who left the Anglican Church, (C.M.S. – Church Missionary Society) Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà to become the foundation members of Jehovah-Jireh African Church, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

The School was mainly established to fulfill the following aims and objectives:-

(i)     Helping to eradicate illiteracy in our society.

(ii)    Providing primary education for our youths.

(iii)    Raising the standard of living of our people.

(iv)   Equipping the youths with sound knowledge and making them to see and show the light by letting other people follow.

(v) Building various societies of people consisting of men and women of integrity with sterling qualities.

The first headmaster of the school was Mr. Popoola Orlando, a native of Ifewara now in Atakumosa Local Government Council Area of Osun State of Nigeria. The Manager of the school was Rev. G. M. Fisher of African Church in the then Ilesa District. The School was first run in the Church before it was later run in its present site. Both members of Jehovah-Jireh African Church at home and abroad (Lagos, Ibadan, etc.) made valuable contributions to the progress of the School with financial and moral support. It is therefore of interest to note that this traditional way of providing assistance to the school still continues till today.

Some of the foundation pupils who attended the school were:-

  1. Late Sir (Chief) A. A. Èṣugboùngbé, The Aro of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà,
  2. Late Mr. S. K. Ogunseemi,
  3. Late Mr. AbuduOginni,
  4. Late Mr. Gabriel OkeOgunkola;
  5. Late Mr. Samuel AloOpe;
  6. Late Mr. John OpetuAtitebi;
  7. Late Chief Olaitan Itiola;
  8. Late Mrs. Fehintola Ogunkola;
  9. Late Mrs. Rebecca Erinapo – OdoOja;
  10. Late Mrs. Abigail TinuolaFajuyigbe;
  11. Late Mrs. BosedeArisowo – Odo-Oja and many others.

Many of the products of the school had left for various higher institutions of learning where they were successfully awarded certificates in different courses. They eventually took up appointments in Government offices, firms, Merchantiles Houses, etc. Many of them have retired from active service and many are now of blessed memory. Soome of the products of the school made pioneer contributions to the development if our community and the country at large, some of whom are still alive include.

  1. Mr. M. E. Èṣugboùngbé,
  2. Mr. M. E. AroIjikilede,
  3. Mr. Daramola Ige,
  4. Late Mr. M. O. Komolafe,
  5. Late Chief J. O. Dare,
  6. Mrs. Maria Afolabi Famuyiwa,
  7. Mrs. TinuolaOjo,
  8. Mrs. Abigail Aluko, and a host of others.

The School have witnessed impressive development with the replacement of old school buildings with modern ones built by the Local Government, the UBE and ETF. The first of the buidings in the school was put up under the administration of Col (Rtd.) Wole Ogunseemi when he was the Chairman of oriade Local Government between 2007 and 2011).

3: A Brief on The Apostolic School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

The Apostolic School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà was started on 18th October, 1948 by Pastor J. F. Olatonade. The first teacher in the School was Mr Joseph A. Alade. The first manager of the School was Pastor J. F. Olatonade. Mr Alade started the work of the School under the strict supervision of the Manager Pastor J. F. Olatonade. The School had two classes in January 1949 and Mr. Samuel Jegede was employed as the second teacher.

In 1950, the School resumed with three teachers and by 1952 the School had grown to standard II with four teachers. The then headmaster was the Late Mr. T. K. Farohun and in 1953 there were 80 pupils in the School and four teachers. On 1st of September 1953, Mr. B. O. Abiodun replaced Mr.Farohun as the headmaster with five teachers on the staff list. The School developed rapidly with the co-operation of the Churchmembers.

On 17th January 1955, Mr J. B. Awe took up the headmastership of the School from Mr Abiodun with 94 pupils on roll. On 16th of January Mr E. Ade Abere took up the headmastership of the School with 157 pupils on roll and 8 teachers.

The School continued to produce more children with the co-operation of Elders Olorunnisola and Olowokere. On 10th of January 1958, Mr E. O. Oyewole took up the headmastership of the School with 216 pupils. On 21st of January 1966 Mrs. F. OluOjo resumed duty with 220 pupils and on 20th January 1967 Mr. J. A Gbonjubola was the Assistant headmaster. The school then, had problems of adequate classrooms for the pupils but the Church struggled to build some and it was successful with the co-operation of the school Supervisor – Mr G. O. Fanimokun. The school had witnessed unparalleled development with many new standard classrooms especially with the government involvement with provision of infrastructure for the school.

4: A Brief on the C.A.C. Primary School Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà

Early in the year 1975 the plan to have a C.A. C. Primary School in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣàwas mooted by one Mrs AdebusolaAgbeseyi who was supported by the following church leaders:-

i) Pa Alake, ii) Mrs Olorunlolona, iii) Elder Ogunseemi, iv). Mama Adesola and the v) CathechistLufadeju.

Mr Alabi, the then Inspector of Education instructed these people to apply to the Ministry of Education for the permision to open the school. This letter was written and signed by Pastor Adegoroye the head of the CAC church and it was forwarded to the Ministry of Education Ibadan for approval. The Ministry of Education granted the approval and requested the members to do the registration of pupils into class one. This, they did, and all the members of the church rallied round and 80 pupils were registered.

On 5th September 1975 the school finally took off with two teachers and eighty pupils. Mr J. M. Fasan was the H.M. Mrs H. O. Babatunji succeeded Mr. J. M. Fasan in 1978 as the headmistress of the school. Next to her was Mrs. B. A. Abimbola who reported for duty as the headmistress on 11th April 1980, and finally left the schoolon 31st Dec. 1989. In January 1989 Mrs. C. I. Ojolo took over from her.

The school, at a time, benefited from a UNICEF programme. The school developed very rapidly through the combined effort of the Church and government in the provision of basic amenities and inbfrastructure. Pupils enrolment is over 300 and the current headmaster of the school is Mrs. Gbadamosi.

5: Muslim Primary School

This full-fledged primary school was founded by the Muslim Mission in the community in 1979 after many trips were made to Ibadan, the then Oyo State Capital when the approval was granted. Oba Joseph Ajayi Palmer, Ajifolokun II and his chiefs gave the plot of land on which the School was built to the Muslim Community. The pioneer Headmaster was Mr. D. A. Yusufwho was a Christian by faith. He was a very honest man who performed excellently well in the execution of his duty and the development of the school. He worked towards the upliftment of the Islamic religion during his tenure as the Headmaster. He used to lead the children of Islamic faith to the mosque on Fridays.

A Multipurpose Hall was recently built in the School for the use of both the School and the Muslim Community. The current headmaster of the school is Mrs. Bankole.

6. Divisional Teacher Training College (DTTC)

Demonstration School.

This was founded by the authorities of the Divisional Teachers Training College Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣàunder their Principal, Mr. Oke to provide teaching practice facilities for student teachers of the institution. It was sited within the premises of the college, and pupils from Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà and Ìjẹ̀dá trekked to the college to attend classes. With the closure of the college in 1984/85 academic year, the school was moved to Òkènísà on the site of the defunct Commercial Secondary School Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà opposite St. Peters Church for the safety of the children in the school.

Moves were made then to have the name of the school changed to St. Peter’s Anglican Primary School but it was not followed up with government. Rev. Olodun was the vicar of thee church at the time. The old building that used to house the St. Mathew’s Primary School “C” was replaced with two new ones built by Col. (rtd.) Wole Ogunseemi one as his Constituency Project when he represented Oriade Local Govern at the Osun House of Assembly and another when he was the Oriade Local Government Chairman up till 2011. 

Due to the change in policy of the Government of the State of Osun, all the old structures of the DTTC Demonstration School have been demolished and replaced with a Mega School Building and the school is now known as DTTC Middle School. The building would be ready later in 2013.

7: Anglican Commercial Modern School

On the 25th of July 1974, while on long vacation, and down in his sitting Room, Pa B. O. Orioke Pa J. B. Ojumu and the Vicar of St Mathews Church Reverend J. B. Olumoya, the trio who formed the Board of Governor of the Anglican Modern School met Mr. E. O. Ariyo. They held a discussion that he Mr. E. O. Ariyo would help to resutcitate the Anglican Modern School since it was totally at the verge of collapse. It was sad news, because no youth would dread coming to settle in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, since the fear of the supernatural powers were at work then. With day to day prayers and constant visits by these able and prominent people sometime in August 1974 they brought an appointment letter from Oke Aare Ibadan (from the Ibadan Diocesan Bishop). This confirms the seriousness of the Board. But to put off the offer Mr. E. O. Ariyo requested that the Modern School should be of commercial oriented and the Board agreed to it.

Hence they sought for money so as to buy necessary equipment for commercial subjects, things like typing machines, tables, chairs, and text books etc. for a class of thirty students, it was Chief Dele Faseru (then the Saloro of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà who loaned the school with four thousand naira for the purchase of these materials.

Publicity of the approval of the school was made. The central mosque public address system was used on market days. The publicity was a far-reaching one that in September the school resumed with four classes. These were two for commercial and two for the basic Modern. Because of the heavy load Mr. E. O. Ariyo advocated for an experienced Headmaster. Hence Mr. Fagbolade newly retired man was brought in as the first Headmaster. After a year Mr. Akande took over as the Headmaster. By 1977 all Modern Schools were taken over by the State Government and Mr. Fatimilehin was posted to the school. Mr. E. O. Ariyo remained the one searching for able teachers from the State to handle the special subjects. Some of these teachers included Mr. I.O. Akinyele, Mrs. Olusesi, Miss Ojengbede, Mr. Apantaku, Mr. Ajayi. Other capable hands in the Modern School section included Mr. Fasakin, Mr. BisiArowobusoye and Mr. S. B. Ojo now High Chief S. B. Ojo the Asolo of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, Mrs. Ojumu etc.

Peculiarity of the School: At the beginning of the third term of the fourth year – 1978 all the Principals of secondary schools came to register for a finalist in the commercial section for their schools either to be the typist or Account clerk, very few were left for the State Secretariat Ibadan.

Some of the students who are highly placed i Nigeria and Diasporas include Florence Ojarolade, Funke Onibokun, AnikeAlonge, Olamide Alonge, AfusatFaponda, SupoAbogan, TitiDobesile, John Ayeni, Veronica Fagbola, Reuben Ige, RantiAbogan, FolorunsoDagiloke, PejuOjumu, Elisha Coker, Samson Agbejiani, Taye Fanimokun, Samuel Alex, Segun Atewogbola, Joshua Fasoyin, Remi Olajide Michael Arowosegbe, Olu Ale, Grace Alare, Biodun Ojumu, Biodun Olabade, Grace Abimbola, Caleb Fasoyin, Joshua Ogunlade, GokeAlare, DotunBadenrin, Samson Adegboyega, AlabaOwojuyigbe, Tope Olatunji.

In 1978 because of the good name of the school in Nigeria the Federal Government sent in Inspector to inspect the school for up-grading into Federal Technical College. After Inspection, the result of the findings was released to the whole school, this was at a time when Mr. E. O. Ariyo was going for further studies. As for this, there was no follow-up and the institution was located else where.

8: Anglican Commercial Grammar School (ACOGRAMS)

As luck would have it, the Anglican Commercial Modern School was up-graded to Anglican Commercial Grammar School by 1980/81. But by 1982 during the era of merging of schools in Oyo State for no just course, it was merged with Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar.

The Principal Mr. Adenrele even though not a native but tried very hard to see that the school is not merged, but the power that be got their way through having the idea that Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà should not have more than two secondary schools. The property of the school for sure belongs to St Mathew’s Church Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

Attempt was made to distribute the materials of the school to other secondary schools in the Local Government by the Inspector of Schools. The idea was resisted by the community through Mr. E. O. Ariyo, hence they were handed over to I.J.G.S. which was a better alternative.

9: Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School

The Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School was established in January 1955 as a Community Grammar School. It owes its existence to the IJUC. that who first conceived the idea about 1936 when the conference sent a delegation comprising Messers S. A. Fatiregun, T.T. Ojumu, A.AEsugbongbe, S.K. Ogunseemi, I. O. Fajuyigbe, J. O. Famakinwa and J. O. Aloba to meet the chiefs and the people of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà and win their support for the proposal to found a Community Grammar School.

In 1945, when Mr. A AEsugbongbe, came home from Lagos on holidays, received complaints from Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà candidates who, having passed the entrance examination to Ilesa Grammar School, were called for interview but were not finally admittedalleging discrimination. Mr. Esugbongbe reported the allegation to Pa. D.B.Aloba who investigated the allegation and found substance in it. From that time, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà sons and daughters in Lagos started to collect donations for the proposed Grammar School.

At the IJUC held in 1947, a Secondary School Education Committee was set up. Mr. J. A.Osanyin was the Chairman while Mr. A AEsugbongbe was the Secretary. It was decided that a bank account should be opened for the money collected from that date towards the project.

The work of the Education Committee was hindered by the events which followed the death of Oba Amolese I which occurred on 12th December, 1946 and the IJUC had held several meetings with the Chiefs, requesting that the stool be kept vacant until a befitting palace was built and a car purchased for the next Oba. The Obaship crisis that engulfed the community afterwards delayed early progress on the take off of the school.

The Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Progress Association, a collection of young radical elites, grew disappointed with the stagnation that resulted from the indefinite ban on the development in the town. At its inaugural meeting held in St Matthew’s Senior Primary School, in December, 1951, it adopted the strategy of members infiltrating the branches of the IJUC nearest to them with a view to persuading the union members to adopt a positive attitude towards the development of the town especially on education.

New Spirit: The strategy worked a miracle in Ibadan where in 1952 Messrs D.B. Oni and P. O. Ọ̀rúnmúyì enrolled as members of the IJUC Ibadan branch and they were appointed into the key offices of Secretary, and Financial Secretary respectively. The Ibadan members, some of them officers of the IJUC, readily followed the guidance of these new members who were considered seasoned educationists. Ibadan, being the biggest branch, started influencing other branches, and by January 1953, a new spirit had been so kindled in every branch that the annual general meeting of that month was held at home.

On August 21st and 22nd 1953, an emergency meeting of the IJUC was held at the Oke-Bola residence of Pa Emmanuel Onajide. Here the IJUC Executive was dissolved and a new one set up. Pa. D. O. Faborowas elected as the General Secretary of the IJUC to replace Mr. D. O. Awe, the veteran General Secretary of the IJUC. It was prompted by a letter written by Rev. D. A. Yoloye; the Vicar of St. Matthew’s Church, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà to the effect that a second Grammar School was being proposed by Ilesa and that if that one materialised while we were still sleeping, it might jeopardise our own proposal. At this meeting, serious work was done through sub-commitee system. A rough picture of the project with its implementation process was clearly laid out.

At the IJU Annual General meeting of January, 1954, the Education Committee was reconstituted with Mr. J. A. Osanyin as the Chairman and Mr. P. O. Orunmuyi as the Secretary. Two workiing groups were set up; one at home headed by Rev. D. A. Yoloye to acquire land and start work on the first classroom block; the other at Ibadan headed by Mr. P. O. Ọ̀rúnmúyì assisted by Mr. D. B. Oni, to find a Principal and deal with the Ministry of Education in matters relating to approval to start the school.

Attempt to get land first considered suitable for use did not succeed,but when contacted, Chief LoyeJegede readily gave out about 42 acres; a token gift of ten pounds with a bottle of schnapps was presented as traditional gift.

The two working groups summounted all problems and having satisfied all conditions prescribed by the Ministry of Education in respect of building, appointment of Principal and finance via a letter Ref. No. IV/3/333/10 of 6th October 1954, the Director of Education, Western Region of Nigeria, granted permission for a single stream secondary school to open in January 1955.

The school opened on January 18th1955 under the principalship of Mr C. O. Komolafe and B.A. Dunelm, who was released to Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà by Ilesa Grammar School.

The formal opening ceremony took place on Saturday, July 30, 1955. It was preceded by a religious service conducted by Ven. (Later Bishop) I.G.A. Jadesimi, Ven. (later Bishop M. A.Osanyin) and Rev. D. A. Yoloye. The Minister of Education was represented by his parliamentary Secreatary, Mr. Kessington Momoh. It was a festive day for citizens of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà who came from various towns to witness the occasion.

A thanksgiving service took place at St. Matthew’s Church Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà the following day, Sunday, July 31st 1955. It was attended by all denominations including Muslims. Ven M. A. Osanyin preached the sermon using Neh. 4:6 as his text.

Fifty-Eight Years Later: At the time of going to press, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School was fifty eight years old on 18th January 2013. In fact a lot of water has passed under the bridge as the saying goes. Buildings and physical plants of all sorts habve multiplied several times over those on the ground in 1955 when the school was founded. Parents Teachers Associatiion have erected new blocks of classrooms too.

Thanks to the Old Students and the Parents Teachers Association for their very invaluable contributions to the development of this school. A couple of years ago, the entire roof of the science laboratory caved in, and as a result of this, the science laboratory was unusable for some time. The old students association rose to the occasion and contributed substantial sums of money to reroof the science laboratory,dug a deep well, constructed toilets, as well as equipped the library with books and journals. Scholarships and bursaries have been awarded to the students by several old students from time to time on yearly basis. Also, a befitting welcoming frontal gate with the inscription of the name of the school was constructed by the old students association.

The school laboratory was recently refurbished and equipped with science equipment worth millions of Naira donated to the school by the Old Sctudents Association in the Diasporas and the Rotary Club International. An Old Student gave the school a deep well with an overhead tank, pumping machine and other assessories. Indeed, in Ijesaland, apart from Ilesa Grammar School Old students Association, hardly could any other old students body hold its alma mater so dearly as the old students of Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Grammar School.

The Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) is another organ that needs our attention in this write up. Over the years, the efforts of this body have gone a long way to keep the school afloat. The first School Bedford lorry was donated by the PTA. Not long after this a sixty seater Toyota bus was also donated by this same body. The fence wall, which enclosed the entire school buildings, was provided through the PTA levies. From time to time, teaching staff quota in the school was always augmented through the efforts of the PTA who employ teachers and pay them regularly. “

At present the school has produced more than 11,700 students (2003) passing out in flying colours after spending five or six years of hard work, many of whom are now Medical Doctors, Professors, Bankers, Industrialists, Business Magnates, High Court Judges, Engineers etc.

In concluding this brief history, great tribute has to be paid to the founding fathers- The Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Union Conference under the respected leadership of Pa. D. B Aloba; The Secondary Education Committee under the able Chairmanship of Mr.J.AOsanyin.·The key officers of both the Conference and its Education Committee; indefatigable Rev. D.A. Yoloye, Chief Priest LoyeJegede who donated the land; and the numerous individuals who contributed their time and money for the realisation of this dream of freeing our children from discrimination in matters of seeking admission into schools outside Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

The glory the school had achieved could bot be completed if the past Principals had not been committed to the goald of the founding fathers of the school. The past principals include Mr. C.O. Komoklafe (1955-1962), Mr. Z.A. Ogunmola (Jan-Dec. 1963), Mr. P. O. Orunmuyi 1964-1972), Mr. E.A. Iyanda (1973-1975), Mr. S.A. Adewole (1975-1982), Mr. I.O. Orolugbagbe (1982-1984), Mr. Olowokure (1984-1999), Mr. G.A. Adesina (April-Dec. 1991), Mr. M.O. Saseun (1992-1994), Rev. B.A. Fakankun (1995-2000), Chief M.O. Fadere (2001-2005), Pastor P.O. Oyewale (2008—2012) and Mr. J. O. Ayeni (2012-Date).

Notably, the on-going re-classification of schools in the State of Osun has further impacted on the school as the school is now renamed ‘Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà High School’.

10: The Urban Day Grammar School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

The School was founded in September 11, 1978, by the efforts of the Parish Church Council of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. The school started as was established as Anglican Girls’ Grammar School, but the nomenclature was soon changed to Girls’ Grammar School. Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà with a view to serving the interest of other Christian denominations, as well as the Muslim Community.

Later in 1978 with the introduction of Free Education Programme of the then UPN government of Oyo State, the name of the school was changed to Urban Day Girls’ Grammar School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà. It remained the only Girls’ School in the whole of Oriade Local Government till it became co-educational in 1997. The school became co-educational because of the difficulties encountered by the pupils from Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà being sent to Iwoye, Ijeda and Iloko due to inadequate space at the IJGS for male pupils.

The school started on a temporary site at the St Matthew’s Church Compound in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, with sixty-seven pupils and with Chief L. A. Ogedengbe as the first Principal in September 1978. The School occupies a 29.8 hectare land donated by the late Kabiyesi Oba Ajayi Palmer (Ajifolokun II) along Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà/EsaOke Road. On the 3rd day of September 1980, the first Principal, left on transfer after handing over to Mrs Abe-Ajakaiye. Mrs Abe-Ajakaiye served as principal up till January 1987. She left on the 1st day of February 1987, and was succeeded by Mrs G. O. Sarumi as the 3rd Principal. She served up till January 1995, when Mrs Ashaolu was transferred to replace her.

In succession, Mr. Olomu took over from 1998-2000 when he retired while Rev. OnarindeM.B. replaced him and served till 2006. Rev. Oke, D.O. succeeded him from 2007 till December 2011 when Rev. B.B. Olaonipekun was transferred to replace him from 2012 till date.

The School now consist of five blocks of classrooms, each with four, classrooms and two offices. These blocks were built by the Local Government and the ETF. There is an all purpose laboratory, one Home Economics room, one Library and common staff rooms. The Junior Secondary School (JSS) Introductory Technology workshop is situated at the North East bend of the school. The school poultry shed has been converted into an Assembly hall. The school has continued to maintain leading role in the field of sports in Oriade Local Government Area. In the same vein, a lot of improvement has been made academically as portrayed by the school’s Junior Scondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) and Senior Secondary certificate Examination (SSCE) results over the years.

Also, the current Tutor General in Osun State (TG) commended the school and marked it to be one of the best in Oriade Local Government. The school was recently renamed ‘Urban Day Middle School’ as a result of the Educational Restructuring going on in the State, with its Annex in the former Jehovah-Jireh African Primary School, Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà.

As at the last academic year, about 450 students are enrolled in the school.

11: Private Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools

We have discussed in some details the history of education in Ìjẹ̀búJesa. We have taken note that the advent of Christianity in this town has gone a long way to pave the way for the founding of primary schools and indeed the two public secondary schools as well. This discussion of the history of education will however not be complete unless we discuss the coming into of pre-primary educationalso known as nursery schools and the private primary and secondary schools into the community as well.

In the early eighties, the down turn in the nation’s economy became noticeable. September 1986 saw the declaration of SAP (Structural Adjustment Program) by the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida. This was characterised by mass retrenchment and large scale unemployment became the order of the day. People had to start fending for themselves and various ways and means were discovered to make both ends meet. The founding of private nursery schools was one of those ways and means devised by citizens to exist. “

The Federal and State Governments, as arule,have nothing to do with the establishment of pre primary education which was left entirely in the hands of the private entrepreneurs. The government however concerns itself with the quality control of these institutions, it therefore means that applications for the opening of such schools have to be granted by the government, which also inspects them at every stage.

Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà community was not left out in the race to found nursery and private primary schools, a situation brought about largely by the agonising austerity and inflationary economic measures in the country. Would-be promoters of these nursery/primary schools saw, to their amazement, that school buses came all the way from Ilesa to Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà, Iwoye, EsaOke, Ìjẹ̀dá, Iloko to convey small kids to and from Ilesa where these kids attend school in their hundreds. These would-be-promoters regarded this act as a challenge to them, and the idea of founding nursery/primary schools came into lime light

Today, there are not less than eight private nursery/primary/secondary schools in Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà with pupils and student population of around 1000 pupils. None of them however offers boarding facilities yet. It is interesting that in spite of the free education provided by the Osun State government, these private nursery/primary schools are still patronised by families despite the fact that school fees are charged by these schools. The reason for this heavy patronage is due to the unhappy situation with public school education system which were often faced with strike actions especially in the mid-80’s to early 2000.  As an example, by, September 2000, all public primary and secondary schools in Osun State and indeed the entire civil service staff have been on strike for nine weeks running. This has been the situation since 1994 when owing to salary palaver, primary and secondary schools woulkd embark on strike for weeks.

It is ironical to point out that the teachers in public primary and secondary schools do not allow their own children and wards to patronise public schools; rather their children and wards are placed in private schools.  The teachers in the public schools (primary and secondary) themselves do not offer qualitative education to pupils as many of them are not highly dedicated and committed as in the past.

However, situation of things with the public primary/secondary education system have changed for the better. The greater attention the government at all levels have placed on this sector has transformed education tremendously, in fact, the public education system, at least in Osun State sets the pace. The table has now turned and families now feel more confortable to send their wards to public schools.

Following are some of the private educational institutions now operating within Ìjẹ̀bú-Jẹ̀ṣà Community:

i) Arise and Shine College

ii) Christ Model College

iii) Cornerstone Nursery and Primary School

iv) Ebenezer Nursery and Primar School

v) Fountain International Private School

vi) Interlink Secondary School

vii) Josmar International School

viii) Kups Nursery and Primary School;

ix) Zion Nursery and Primary School, Adewunmi Estate.